Killin' Time
(27 January - 5 February 2003)

5 February 2003
-Pat rightly points out that U-British Columbia is a Canadian team & they placed 11th team, making them the only people to crack the top 15 either teams or speakers, but contradicting what I said here yesterday.  Fair enough.  There's a discussion (via Amy) about this on CUSID's forum & I put in my 2 cents, mostly in reaction to some (surprise surprise) ridiculous remarks from Thurlow.  Anyway, I seem to be really focused on this tournament & I'm not exactly sure why.  I guess I just miss debate.
-I REALLY don't like Microsoft Outlook.  It's spent the last week (at work, where I'm mandated to use it, I would never use it voluntarily) or so deciding to no longer accept my password.  I really believed that my password was corrupt or had been changed, but since the Chapman Computer Help Desk made the Bush administration look helpful, I'd been bereft of ideas.  I've been really worried about what work-related e-mails I'm missing, too, especially when someone came in today & asked if I'd gotten their e-mail about scheduling a research session.  Well it finally hit me that I should see if I could get into the e-mail via Blackboard, an actually helpful system.  Sure enough, my password checks out A-okay.  I had 17 new messages, about 12 of which were test messages from me trying to make Outlook work.  But I'm still not authorized in the world of Outlook.  Perhaps the funniest thing is that when Outlook can't verify your password, it still allows you to SEND e-mails perfectly well.  Because what I really worry about with identity theft isn't someone posing as me & sending people e-mails that look like mine, no it's people reading my Inbox!  Um, who set up this program?

4 February 2003
-Looking over the NorthAms results, I have to wonder if there was a Canadian boycott.  Because if there wasn't, I'd be a little upset were I from Canada.  Congratulations are certainly in order to the MIT boys (Pat & Phil) for winning... but I don't know if one country has ever swept the top 15 teams & speakers, no matter what country the tourney was held in.
-Speaking of debate, I've put this up in my excitement about the upcoming little shindig in Waltham in April.  It's all just going to be for reference purposes, I guess.

3 February 2003
-Life makes me smile.
-I guess being "Phil Spectered, resurrected" now makes a chillingly dichotomous pair.  Call Simon & Garfunkel prophets.
-The odds of any given individual on planet Earth dying of starvation in the first 25 years of life are better than the odds of a space traveler dying in their spacecraft.  Maybe we should work on making the planet a safer vehicle to travel on.
-Quiz Stats & Search of the Week updated.  Just shy of 1,000 people took the Quiz last week, bringing the total to just short of 5,200 total in less than 3 weeks.  While feeling of sunset was almost a poetic search & duck stolen boston common made me laugh aloud, I went with randomness for the winners this week on Searches.
-Twice a month, I administer a standardized test at work that's used for grad school admissions.  It's pretty straightforward & one realizes how little one thought about people proctoring the SAT or some other such test, how much monotonous speaking is involved.  Some groups make jokes during the endless pre-penciling & some are stone-faced & some are just bored.  But by far the worst part of the job is coming in & telling someone who just isn't done with the test that the clock says they are done.  & taking that paper away from them.

2 February 2003
-Ah, groundhogs.
-Today Em & I found the place where we're going to get married.  We found the place a little earlier, but now we've been there too... it's up in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  & while it's not the most accessible place in the world, that's kind of the point.  Details to follow.
-"The Hours" is very well done, & includes a rant from Virginia Woolf (fellow manic depressive) on sanity that sounds like my motto.

1 February 2003
-I wrote my primary college application essay on my experience with the Challenger disaster.  In 1st grade, 17 years & 4 days ago, a television was wheeled in front of our class & we watched 7 people die on a live broadcast.  The effect it had on me, an aspiring astronaut at almost-6, was profound.  The re-entry of space shuttle Columbia was less widely broadcast than the Challenger launch, but it would seem a new generation space-travel fear has been born.
-Almost unending terrible dreams last night.  Need to find a way to be ready to work at 8 am on Saturday without sleeping way too much on Fridays.
-So the Library at Chapman's Concord campus (my new Saturday home) has its lights shut down about 4 times an hour.  This is very freaky at first, but makes me get up & wave hello to the motion sensor every 15 minutes during the slow stretches.

31 January 2003
-Headaches.  A nice day off, now that Em & I both take Fridays off, but so many headaches.  Bleh.

30 January 2003
-Feeling angrier than normal today, for a variety of very small reasons.  A lot of it is that people were driving suicidally today & I just get jumpier & jumpier about that.  Little things pile up sometimes... minor but long-standing headaches, the sinking feeling that now that I'm off antibiotics, whatever infection I may have had is creeping back in, just nagging things.  I'm glad I have tomorrow off but I have to run some errands.
-I've also been meaning to comment for a long while about the weird trend in radio lately (I guess the last decade) towards becoming like a get-rich-quick scheme.  Few to no radio stations are satisfied with just playing music, or even just playing music & the periodic talk show... everyone has to offer you 9,000 ways to win large sums of cash money.  Now I understand why they do this... unlike BASF & Plastics, these people have a solid reason for their advertising.  Since all radio revenues are based on ads & all ads are based on something really inexact (these little Nielsen-like-but-less-accurate surveys that are handed out once in a while to random folks), it makes a lot of sense for a station to be able to point to something concrete that will draw in listeners, like the chance to win $10k.  Nevertheless, it makes me feel weird about listening to radio, because it's always assumed that I'm going to jump through their listener hoops to win trinkets or prizes.  I feel like I'm constantly being offered lottery tickets or sweepstakes deals.  Now some of these promotions I like, like KFOG's "My Three Songs", where they play 3 songs in a row with some connection & then you call in & name it & win a prize.  That's enjoyable for everyone, because everyone gets to hear the theme & guess the connection.  But the "Alice Word of the Day" for "Alice Everday Rewards"?  Bleh.  Just play the music!

29 January 2003
-It seems that yesterday things were really conspiring to keep me from working on ADO.  I was all inspired, & then the crash shook me up a bit.  Then I got to work & shortly thereafter was told that because the "slammer" worm has eaten both the Concord & Travis servers (our other Bay Area campuses, the former which I experienced first-hand when none of the comps there worked on Saturday), that our computers would have to be shut down indefinitely.  Which didn't give me a whole lot to do, but I surprisingly was still able to help 2 or 3 people without any use of computers.  If only I hadn't been seeming to conspire with myself to barely work on ADO for months...
-Last night I had a discombobulating dream about going back to debate at NorthAms with Emily.  The real facts of the matter (that NorthAms is this weekend) helped make the dream very convincing while I was in it.  Mostly, I was just freaked out as all heck that I was getting no practice rounds before being thrown back into judged debate.  I miss debate like crazy, but I'm sure I'm getting fairly rusty.
-Pandora has become one of the most restless creatures on Earth.  Once she learned that meowing was a way of communicating with us, she started talking all the time, & now she's pretty sure that all time is Pando time.  Which would be a lot better if she were as convinced that all bathroom time is catbox time.
-New archiving in.  This leaves just 3 days visible on this page right now, but it's all available in the Archive section.
-Because work is being extra boring today, I also changed the Exports page around.  3 new people join the BP People crew, & while I don't know any of them that well (Dolan the best of the 3 by far), I frequent their pages & it seems silly for me to have a template page of the pages I visit & then go to those 3 in addition.  Also, I have randomly determined that at least once every 40 days is the bare minimum of online journal updating.  Otherwise you get what Cusick describes as "Italics Purgatory".

28 January 2003
-If I did entry-titles (something I'm nowhere near as averse to as, say, comments), the title of this entry would be Maybe the Worm Got All the Useful Information.  I just spent half an hour Googling around for info on how to make one's cat stop urinating all over the bed & clothes (& bedclothes for that matter), or anywhere besides the catbox.  But with much more relevant phrases, like "how to train a cat".  You'd think I'd get good information, but everything was either (A) a form from an animal shelter asking if one knew how to train a cat (but not helping one on said issue) or (B) info on training a cat to use a human toilet!!  A human toilet!  Jeez, I don't want our cat doing flips while going to the bathroom, or using the shower, or cooking her own meals!  I just want her to use the litterbox!  Is that so much to ask?  Maybe she's just afraid of going near something known as Pandora's box.
-Also, after watching the local news last night (something I rarely do), I'm even more confused by sports-riots.  Don't get me wrong, sports teams' losses have brought me to tears on several occasions, & sometimes it even is joined by rage when poor umpiring/reffing is involved, but that so rarely makes me think to myself "Hey, I'm devastated that Oakland lost because I love Oakland so much, so I'm going to go tear down Oakland now."  The logic is missing.  Maybe alcohol is the thing I'm not understanding, & that somehow twists the logic into something sensible, but it still just doesn't wash.  I wonder what riots in Tampa would have looked like...
-Today I got in a car accident.  Don't worry... it was something very minor & I'm fine, if quite a bit shaken up.  The car's fine too, though I think the alignment might be a little bit funkier than it was before.  But that could be psychological too.  I was stopped at a stop sign when the car behind me rear-ended me at what couldn't have been more than 3 or 5 mph.  There was no visible damage, which really surprised me given the jolt I felt from the initial impact.  I really had that sinking feeling right after it had happened that the car was in deep trouble, but everything appears to be fine.  Between this, my recent dreams about parked-car rear-endings, seeing a car accident wreckage just before my accident, & watching someone get pulled over just after, I'm fairly spooked about driving right now.  & I feel sore in my neck, but I'm pretty sure that's psychological too.
-Bleh, just discovered that I forgot Mexico in the Quiz Stats.  They're now accurate, I promise.

27 January 2003
-Just updated both the Country Quiz Stats (4,204 quizzes taken in the about 10 days) & the Search of the Week.  While I don't hate albuquerque academy or know anything about headwear baklava, I probably could tell you what do you think about jarritos.  Or at least what Gris does, as I don't really know what to think about Jarritos yet... I with they hadn't reminded me so much of Fresca & other lousy NutraSweet products.
-Have no fear, this page is not becoming the meta-Quiz/meta-StatTracker express with little other content.  It's just that those things are the most interesting stuff going on right now... life is good, I'm busy with work, etc. etc.... things that aren't changing much.  But this quiz's following is exciting, at least to me.  & I decide what goes up here after all.  I'm thinking vaguely about designing another quiz, something like US cities perhaps.  Or states, with a whole 14 spurious ones.  I dunno though.  It'd be a while before it really got going.

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